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17 March 2023

To start the week I met with Garry Cummings, Director of Finance, Business and Development Services, and other senior officers from the finance department to discuss our Capital Investment program and medium-term financial plan.

On Tuesday morning I attended the General Licensing Committee. In the afternoon I visited the Amazon fulfilment centre on Wynyard Business Park which opened last year. Attracting big businesses like Amazon to the area is very important as it not only brings money into the region but hundreds of jobs too. Our Invest Stockton-on-Tees project shows why the Borough is a great place for business and is attracting other companies into the area.

Later, I attended the Scrutiny Liaison Forum where we discussed the scrutiny work program for 2022/2023.

Mid-week I attended the Health and Wellbeing Board pre-agenda ahead of the full meeting later this month. We discussed the effects of long-COVID and the issue of substance abuse.

On Thursday evening it was the Council's Cabinet meeting. In a busy agenda we discussed our plans for His Majesty King Charles III's coronation, the Levelling Up Fund and our Inclusive Growth strategy.

Today I am attending the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) Cabinet meeting. Alongside an update from the Tees Valley Mayor and the latest on the TVCA's medium-term financial plan, we discussed Hartlepool's and Middlesbrough's Development Corporation plans.

This weekend I will been relaxing with my family. Middlesbrough could only manage a draw mid-week whilst automatic promotion rivals Sheffield United beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. The pressure is mounting on us to win every game we can if we want to challenge for second place and an automatic promotion spot. I look forward to seeing how we play against Preston on Saturday.

This will be my last blog until after the elections on 4 May 2023 due to the purdah period. Please ensure that you're registered to vote to be able to vote in these elections, and bring photo ID with you if you're voting in person. You can read more  on our voter ID page.

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